Pastor Henry's Memo

November 2018


Words are an important part of my life as a preacher.  To begin, THE WORD is the focus of the Christian faith.  With words God called everything into being.  Remember, "Then God said, 'Let there be light.'  And there was light."  And we’re off to the races, so to speak.  In my reading (again, words) I am always intrigued when I come across a new word.  Often I can tell by context what that unfamiliar word means.  And when I cannot discern the meaning, I'm off to the dictionary.  Last week I was reading an essay by Indiana University professor Susan Gubar and she used the word LAGNIAPPE.  It's French and it's most commonly used in Louisiana Cajun culture.  It means "a little something extra."  Think of a Baker's Dozen; thirteen eggs for the price of twelve.  Or having your mother put a surprise treat in your school lunch bag.  Or your favorite uncle handing you a wad of cash as you drive off to college for the first time.  Lagniappe; a little something extra.  How pleasant life could be if we all practiced the kindness of giving "a little something extra."  Going and doing a little more than required could be good for everyone.  Imagine the good will it would create.  In this Advent Season and the coming of Christmas, "a little something extra" would most assuredly be welcomed by all.

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115 Days

The scaffolding is being erected around our tower.  The physical work has begun to repair our lightening damaged building.  We've been waiting and waiting and waiting.  Finally, all the necessary preliminary work has been completed and we see progress.  It's been one hundred fifteen days from the lightening strike in July.  Our patience has been stretched and I believe it will be rewarded.  Together we will watch a kind of transformation occur.  The life of the Calvary Congregation has been disrupted to a point, However, we have continued to be a functioning and faithful part of the Body of Christ.  We have worshiped and eaten carry-in dinners.  We have maintained our office and completed year-end reports.  Our Church Directory will soon be available and Christmas decorations will adorn our fellowship hall.  We have persevered through this bit of inconvenience and we will happily see progress every day toward being made whole again.  All of Syracuse can join in being witness to a restoration that will be celebrated well before another 115 days pass.

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When the Guns Fell Silent

Sunday marks the end of World War I.  One hundred years ago at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month The War came to an end.  By every account The War was catastrophic.  There are only reliable estimates to the total number of persons killed.  The most reliable numbers count more than 9 1/2 million killed in action and another 20 million lost or wounded.  As to civilians, the numbers range up to 20 million dead.  Those are the statistics.  We'll never know a final number.  A hundred years on, it's easy to report such horror.  However, the carnage of The War was enormous.  Whole cities lay in ruin across the European continent.  Whatever was left of kings and kingdoms pretty much came to an end.  Modern war made a hash of any notion humanity was rising very far above its ancestor taste for blood. The War To End All Wars did not end war.  After all, a century after it was declared over, the world has not, and still does not, know an end to that foul beast.  Sunday will mark the day when the guns fell silent.  Our prayer should be they be silent everywhere.

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